We got to the ship about 1:00 PM and we were processed very quickly, very happy with the efficiency. When we got on the ship, we were impressed that we were personally escorted to our room, which was ready. We unpacked and freshened up and went to check the lido deck out. We enjoyed the food, it was pretty good, more service in the buffet than our other cruise which was carnival. I felt that this ship was a bit nicer than the Carnival elation. We checked out the crow's nest lounge which was amazing. Beautiful leather recliners to sit and relax and watch the world go by. leaving Vancouver, we sat by a lounge and had a glass of wine and sat dreaming of the next four days of bliss, relaxing bliss!!!! (NOT)
Getting to Victoria was fine, but, when we left, we were pretty much in a storm the entire trip... twelve foot waves the entire time..... we couldn't sleep for all the rocking, on day three when the pool pretty much emptied out onto the deck, the buffet guys were soaked.... we were watching out the window before that and marveling how all we saw was sea, then all we saw was sky, it truly was rocky. We had one really bad set of waves, which sent all those on chaise lounges by the pool sliding towards the tables and windows.... a couple of feet of water floated by, ketchup bottles were literally floating by us.... that is when I thought, this is really it, what gives? it seems irresponsible to be on a ship that can't manage in water like this. About ten minutes later, the captain came on and announced that one or some of the stabilizers were out... (YA THINK??) outside of the incredibly choppy ride.
The food; our service in the main dining room was not bad, not sure if it was a new crew, but, our server forgot my drink three times, and brought it after we had eaten and forgot to bring my husband wine until we reminded him twice... could have been new? We did not go back to the dining room for dinner, instead, we opted for dining in the Lido deck, I have to agree with the previous poster, the service there specifically from the wine steward was nasty, sneered at me for ordering tea instead of wine (really, I was lucky I could eat with the way my stomach felt being on that roller coaster) and the next night, he came finally while we were having dessert. Our room steward kept our room very clean, but, didn't replace the water, which I would have been happy to keep purchasing in the room versus at the bars. I didn't drink any, but, I like that they left an assortment of pop in the rooms too. The robes were great, not too thick, not too thin, and quite comfortable. The entertainment was sufficient, I thought the comedian was good, the dancing was fine, a bit hard to do with the ship bouncing around so much though. It was typical cruise entertainment. We did enjoy the theatre and watched movies there 2 or 3 nights, the popcorn was a nice touch, although a bit of a bigger bag would have been nice, you got about two cups in a bag.
I have to say I had high hopes for HAL as I had heard it was such a great cruise line. I am probably pointing out all the negatives, because we just found it hard to enjoy it.
We desperately wanted to have an enjoyable relaxing cruise, but, it just wasn't that trip for us. We got to San Diego and disembarked four hours late, at least an hour of that time was due to some guests that did not show up for immigration that were neither US or Canadian citizens. Drew, our cruise director called them so many times, and told us all many times that we could not get off the ship until they showed up, finally said, if any of you want to get off this ship, you are welcome to run around the ship calling their names, when you find them send them our way.... I am sure HAL is not bad, I wish the stabilizers were working, we heard from a crew member that the hotel manager, couldn't even get out of bed. We wish the food service was better, we are not hard to please and friendly to everyone, so, it isn't like we annoyed someone, and we did not expect five star service at a 3 or 4 star place, just wish it went smoother.
The coffee bar was fantastic and I would highly recommend it.